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.: August 2007 --> August 2007

August 2007

» New research shows that human beings are "psychologically hotwired" to unconsciously respond much more strongly to environmental cues than was previously imagined.

Hidden in the room was a bucket of water with a splash of citrus-scented cleaning fluid, giving off a faint odor. After completing the questionnaire, the young men and women had a snack, a crumbly biscuit provided by laboratory staff members. The researchers covertly filmed the snack time and found that these students cleared away crumbs three times more often than a comparison group, who had taken the same questionnaire in a room with no cleaning scent. "That is a very big effect, and they really had no idea they were doing it," said Henk Aarts, a psychologist at Utrecht University and the senior author of the study.

I wonder if there's a way to turn this into a life hack? I'm becoming more and more interested in structural approaches to behavior modification, but unfortunately these studies also show that the minute people realize they are being manipulated, they rebel. Still, it seems likely to me that reducing the clutter in your environment, for example, would increase your productivity—in part because you would be sending yourself a message that you were cleared and ready to work. / (4) Comments / [ 08.01.07 ]

» How to store and preserve fresh herbs. / (1) Comments / [ 08.02.07 ]

» How Do You Escape From a Sinking Car? Mainly you have to keep your head and remember just a few things. Read it, learn it, live it. / (3) Comments / [ 08.03.07 ]

» Did Bush Repeal the Fifth Amendment?

Although the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution guarantees that "No person shall ... be deprived of ... property, without due process of law," on July 17 President Bush issued an executive order authorizing the Treasury department to seize any and all property belonging to individuals who "pose a significant risk" of committing violent acts that undermine the "peace or stability" of Iraq. The action does not require congressional approval.

This out of control administration. / (2) Comments / [ 08.07.07 ]

» How to store and preserve fresh basil: Susan Kitchen's bouquet method and Mental Masala's mini-hydroponics method. Plus tips from Serious Eats readers, including several methods for freezing.  [ 08.08.07 ]

» Can you believe the Summer Reading Lists are still coming?

College Students:

Young people:

 [ 08.09.07 ]

» I guess it's only appropriate to follow that with an infographic on the rise of obesity in the United States from 1985 to 2003. The trend is pretty spectacular. / (5) Comments / [ 08.10.07 ]

» What makes Southern sweet tea so special? It is good, though my father-in-law swears the stuff he buys in jugs at the store is better than what he can make at home. / (4) Comments / [ 08.10.07 ]

» NYT Practical Traveler: 10 Ways to Keep Europe Within Reach.  [ 08.13.07 ]

» How to Become a Mad Scientist for DARPA

In the grand ballroom, amid flashing blue lights and rock guitar riffs, 50 or so program managers take turns laying out their goals for the next two years of DARPA funding. The guy in charge of materials science wants to support research into something called "programmable matter." Eventually, he says, we'll have a blob of goo that can form itself into a hammer in one instant, a wrench in the next. "It's an instant toolkit—a universal spare part!" Another manager shows trippy slides of veinous bio-scapes, and wonders how we might "killproof" our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. He's looking for proposals to create a universal immune cell that can be used to protect soldiers from any deadly pathogen. One by one, the DARPA administrators sketch out their nutty techno-fantasies for an audience of 3,000 professors and engineers. And they've got billions of dollars to make those fantasies come true.
Let me repeat a question I asked yesterday: How do you get this job?

 [ 08.14.07 ]

» Mike Steinberger on the unsurpassed (and very French) pleasure of drinking chilled red wine in the summer. / (2) Comments / [ 08.16.07 ]

» The Product Space and the Wealth of Nations is a new report by two economists and two physicists who broke down nation's export data and then mapped the results to come up with product networks [pdf]. The picture shows that the products some countries produce are deeply connected with the economy as a whole, while others—for example, oil-producing countries—may be outliers. Individual country maps are available here.

Slate has an interesting explanation of the clues this type of analysis might contain for policy-makers hoping to create more robust—diversified, interconnected, and sustainable—economies in developing nations.  [ 08.20.07 ]

» Wait....eyelash tinting hurts???!!!??? The phrase "slight tingling" seems to be a common euphemism for intense pain. / (2) Comments / [ 08.20.07 ]

» New research shows that the face contains 18 separate areas, each of which hold and lose fat at different rates as a person ages. Plastic surgeons are looking at this new information with an eye to doing better cosmetic surgery, but other physicians see the potential for more accurately assessing and predicting their patients' potential for heart disease. "Human anatomy has been studied for over 500 years. It’s pretty unusual to see something this new at the macroscopic, anatomical level." Joel Pessa, assistant professor and plastic surgeon at UT Southwestern and study coauthor.  [ 08.21.07 ]

» Andy Lloyd's Dark Star Theory regarding our Brown Dwarf Binary Companion. (via br) / (1) Comments / [ 08.22.07 ]

» Comedy Gold: A 29-year-old man in Sydney, Australia was taped using a code language to organize his buddies into "reprisal gangs" the day after rioting.

"Ring up a few boys - bring 'ankshays' and 'atbays'," he is recorded as saying. [...]
The police statement explains that Pig Latin moves the first consonantal sound of a word to its end and then adding "ay", turning "shanks" into "ankshays" and "bats" into "atbays."

(via sos) / (1) Comments / [ 08.23.07 ]

» Here's some great advice to set the tone for your upcoming weekend. / (1) Comments / [ 08.24.07 ]

» I'm off on vacation. I have some entries scheduled for you while I'm gone, but comments are disabled. See you in a couple of weeks.  [ 08.26.07 ]

» You might enjoy Pastelogram, a blog dedicated to the commercial art of mid-century America. It's the official organ of the awesome, the museum (and gift shop) of mid-century illustration. (via br)  [ 08.27.07 ]



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